JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — The Burnet High School football team has already beaten the teams picked to finish second and fourth in District 13-4A Division I play.
Now, the Bulldogs (7-1 overall, 3-0 district) will try for the trifecta when they travel to Waco La Vega, 555 N. Texas 340 Loop in Waco, on Oct. 31 for a 7:30 p.m. start. The Pirates (3-5, 2-1) were chosen to finish third. Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com with a pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.
La Vega enters this contest after beating Lampasas 43-42 in overtime, Gatesville 42-21 and Alvarado 41-19. The Pirates have lost to China Spring 31-28, Waco Connally 35-27, Mexia 40-21, Lorena 35-28 and Hutto 38-14.
“They’re a good team,” Burnet head coach Kurt Jones said. “They’re athletic. They’re a run-first team.”
Sophomore running back Nick Ward has rushed for more than 620 yards on 95 carries to lead the Pirates. Freshman running back Cameron Henry has 100 carries for more than 600 yards. Junior quarterback Ty Francis has more than 60 rushes for more than 250 yards and has completed more than 40 passes for almost 600 yards. Freshman quarterback Jamal Williams has more than 50 carries for more than 200 yards.
“They have several skilled players, including one of their quarterbacks who’s dangerous,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to have proper pursuit angles and tackling. Our defense has continued to improve on the year. We’re playing with a lot of passion. That’s the standard we want to uphold every week.”
La Vega also seems to be a squad that can overcome.
During the win against Lampasas, the Pirates allowed the Badgers 524 rushing yards. But in the end, La Vega won, partly because the Pirates recovered two fumbles deep in their own territory.
Jones said the La Vega defense has the traits that pose challenges for offenses.
“They have a lot of speed,” he said. “They can rally to the ball in a hurry.”
Burnet junior quarterback Austin Moore has put together back-to-back games in which he has thrown for 889 yards and eight touchdowns. For the year, Moore has completed 150 passes for 2,407 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions.
He led the Bulldogs to a 57-0 shutout of Gatesville on Oct. 24 in what seems to be their most complete game of the season.
“The score might say that, but I don’t know that we could after watching it on film,” Jones said. “There’s still plenty we could do better.”
Among those things is consistency down after down after down, he said. And that’s exciting to the Bulldogs, he added, because they see where they can improve.
Still, Moore completed 23 passes for 409 yards and four touchdowns, and senior receiver Cody Jones caught seven passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win.
“You never know or predict a margin of victory like that,” Jones said. “We wanted to be focused and wanted to go out and play hard like we did the week before.”